By G. A. Finch
In the month of March, in the year of 2020, in the world, in the United States, the Era of the COVID-19 Virus has unequivocally and rudely arrived. Many times, as executives or professionals, we have recently heard the exclamations from friends, families, neighbors, colleagues, clients, customers, and patients: “These are weird times!” “It’s a crazy time!” “It’s scary!” “The worst is yet to come!”
We hear complaints of either too much happy talk and misinformation or too much Chicken-Little-like-“The sky is falling” negativity.
All would agree that the world and United States are laboring under extreme adverse circumstances both medically and economically.
We are experiencing an historical moment, and it seems surreal with all the empty streets, closed schools and businesses, sanitizing of surfaces and objects, and social distancing.
From conversations with my executive and professional clients and colleagues across the country, I have come to believe the following: In these kinds of circumstances, a leader must a) understand context, b) discern a proper perspective, and c) choose the right attitude.
We must understand those facts in which a certain event occurs.
We live in a highly integrated, global world. We are not insulated and major catalysts can happen instantaneously — in this case, rapid disease contagion and economic dominoes. What happens in financial or regional food markets abroad can and does have immediate effects on every American.
Human beings on this planet are inextricably connected and interdependent.
As the 1918-1919 Flu Pandemic ought to have taught us, our living in an impenetrable bubble has always been a figment of our imagination.
We must discern all of the relevant information to establish a meaningful view point.
The United States has had epic catastrophic events before and has survived, becoming stronger: Civil War, two World Wars, Great Depression, 9/11, Great Recession and other monumental challenges.
This corona virus calamity, too, shall pass.
We must choose the right orientation. Optimism and positivity are actionable choices that individuals, teams, groups, and nations are free to make.
There are no short- or long-term positive returns on individual or collective pessimism. Our expecting and working toward an eventual positive outcome has both immediate and deferred benefits.
We are all leaders, whether you lead in a family, an organization, a team or a government.
Effective and memorable leaders, although mindful of being realistic, pragmatic and diligent, choose a vision of prevailing and winning. Defeatism is not an option for such leaders. How will you choose to lead?
Copyright 2020 by G. A. Finch. All rights reserved.